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The Sensitivity and Costs of Testing for SARS-CoV-2 Infection With Saliva Versus Nasopharyngeal Swabs : A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.
Ann Intern Med ; 2021 Jan 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1022199
ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND:

Nasopharyngeal swabs are the primary sampling method used for detection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), but they require a trained health care professional and extensive personal protective equipment.

PURPOSE:

To determine the difference in sensitivity for SARS-CoV-2 detection between nasopharyngeal swabs and saliva and estimate the incremental cost per additional SARS-CoV-2 infection detected with nasopharyngeal swabs. DATA SOURCES Embase, Medline, medRxiv, and bioRxiv were searched from 1 January to 1 November 2020. Cost inputs were from nationally representative sources in Canada and were converted to 2020 U.S. dollars. STUDY SELECTION Studies including at least 5 paired nasopharyngeal swab and saliva samples and reporting diagnostic accuracy for SARS-CoV-2 detection. DATA EXTRACTION Data were independently extracted using standardized forms, and study quality was assessed using QUADAS-2 (Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies 2). DATA

SYNTHESIS:

Thirty-seven studies with 7332 paired samples were included. Against a reference standard of a positive result on either sample, the sensitivity of saliva was 3.4 percentage points lower (95% CI, 9.9 percentage points lower to 3.1 percentage points higher) than that of nasopharyngeal swabs. Among persons with previously confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection, saliva's sensitivity was 1.5 percentage points higher (CI, 7.3 percentage points lower to 10.3 percentage points higher) than that of nasopharyngeal swabs. Among persons without a previous SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis, saliva was 7.9 percentage points less (CI, 14.7 percentage points less to 0.8 percentage point more) sensitive. In this subgroup, if testing 100 000 persons with a SARS-CoV-2 prevalence of 1%, nasopharyngeal swabs would detect 79 more (95% uncertainty interval, 5 fewer to 166 more) persons with SARS-CoV-2 than saliva, but with an incremental cost per additional infection detected of $8093.

LIMITATION:

The reference standard was imperfect, and saliva collection procedures varied.

CONCLUSION:

Saliva sampling seems to be a similarly sensitive and less costly alternative that could replace nasopharyngeal swabs for collection of clinical samples for SARS-CoV-2 testing. PRIMARY FUNDING SOURCE McGill Interdisciplinary Initiative in Infection and Immunity. (PROSPERO CRD42020203415).
Full text: Available Collection: International databases Database: MEDLINE Type: Article Language: English Year: 2021

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Full text: Available Collection: International databases Database: MEDLINE Type: Article Language: English Year: 2021